Skip to main content

Full text of "Ante bellum suburban villas and rural residences of fayette county kentucky and some outstanding homes of lexington: a cartographic guide to the early architecture of the heart of the bluegrass country"

See other formats

Ante Bellum 

a n d 


and some 

a cartographic guide to the 
early architecture of the heart of 
the bluegrass country 

by Clay Lancaster 
Lexington, Kentucky 

Digitized by: 


The Association for Preservation Technology, Int. 

From the collection of: 

Floyd Mansberger 
Fever River Research 



Copyright, 1955, by Clay Lancaster. 
Printed in the United States of America 
by The Thoroughbred Press, Lexington, 
Kentucky. All rights reserved. 

Note: Cover illustration is ROSE HILL, 
Mulberry (N. Limestone) Street. 

Ante B e Hum 


and some 

a cartographic guide to the 
early architecture of the heart of 
the bluegrass country 

by Clay Lancaster 
Lexington, Kentucky 

Fayette County, one of the three original counties into which 
Kentucky was divided by the Assembly of Virginia in 1780 and later 
subdivided with the development of the Commonwealth, acquired approxi- 
mately its present proportions about 1798. Situated in the very center 
of Kentucky its early growth was rapid because of the desirability of its 
fertile, well-watered soil and the natural beauties of its rolling hills and 
deep forests. In Kentucky, it will be remembered, the colonists met with 
little native opposition due to the fact that Indian encampments were 
few, the area being reserved for a hunting ground by tribes living north 
and south of its boundaries. Kentucky, therefore, was one of the first 
inland regions to be settled. The first wave of immigration came as a 
result of extensive land grants bestowed by the colonial and national 
governments upon men for services during the French and Indian, and 
Revolutionary Wars. 

Building a home is the chief form of creative expression of settlers 
moving into virgin territory. The solution of new practical problems, 
the attempt to reproduce accustomed conveniences, and the interpre- 
tation of accepted elegancies, all combine into new art forms with 
their own peculiarities. On the accompanying map, entitled Ante 
INGTON, the object has been to present a graphic survey of domestic 
building in the bluegrass region, geographically scaled 1% inches to the 
mile, with an insert plan of the city of Lexington represented 6% inches 
to the mile. Sketched in perspective on the map are over 300 county 
residences and a selection of some 30 examples inside the city limits, 
each one restored — insofar as possible — to its appearance at the time 
of the Civil War. 

The county roadways, water courses, and streets in Lexington* are 
KENTUCKY, FROM ACTUAL SURVEYS, revised and corrected by 
E. A. and G. W. Hewitt, published by Smith, Gallup & Co., New York, 
1861, copies of which are owned by Duncan Tavern in Paris and several 
private collectors. Except for a few marginal views the Hewitt map 

One will find a number of connecting roads and many streets in the city cut through in recent decades- 
but the pikes (turnpikes) radiating from Lexington have remained approximately the same, the name of the 
Cynthiana Pike, though, having been changed to the Russell Gave Pike, and Russell's Road becoming the 
Greenwich Pike. The Hornsback Mill at present is called the Brier Hill Road, the section of the Chilesburg 
Road north of the Winchester Pike has become Royster Road, and over on the western extremity of the 
county Harriet's Mill Road is now the Bethel Road. In Lexington, Mulberry Street is known as Limestone 
or "Lime," Back has been renamed Deweese, Winslow currently is called Euclid Avenue, and Lower is 
Patterson Street. 

is not pictorial, showing only the location of city and county houses, 
the identity of the latter indicated by the name given the place or that 
of its owner in 1861. Stress has been laid upon the rural buildings 
because there exists a color lithographic VIEW OF THE CITY OF 
LEXINGTON, KY. (a print of which, owned by Mr. James Molloy of 
Lexington, has been photographed and given fair circulation), published 
during the mid 1850*8 by Middleton, Wallace and Company of Cincinnati, 
which, because it is a contemporary work— though including only as 
far north as Fifth Street and lacking somewhat in accuracy— gives a 
more complete picture of the city dwellings than any one could hope 
to reconstruct today. A greater percentage of the old houses have 
remained intact in the country than in the city up to recent years, making 
it possible to accumulate a sufficient number of examples for a worth- 
while and representational study. However, the destructive tide of 
rapidly expanding suburbs of late years has been an important factor 
in prompting the current project, throwing in strong relief the necessity 
of recording our heritage of ante-bellum architecture now, if it is to be 
recorded at all. For reasons of presentation the location, orientation and 
comparative sizes of houses on the present map are to be considered as 
approximate, their relative magnitudes accurately indicated in the 40 
odd floor and plot plans of select buildings distributed along the borders 
of the map, on a scale, respectively, of 40 and 120 feet to the inch. The 
plans of country houses are arranged more or less chronologically along 
the righthand edge from top to bottom, whereas those of town houses 
have been fitted in where convenient in the space available below the map. 

The houses built in Fayette County during the eight decades pre- 
ceding the Civil War fall into several distinct categories and periods. 
The earliest are of log, frame and stone construction. After the intro- 
duction of brick as a building material the divisions are designated by 
styles, each with recognizable conventionalities. As wealth, production 
facilities, and intercourse of ideas increased, houses became more opulent 
in every respect, culminating in the villas of the revival styles built during 
the 1840's and 1850's. In order to make meaningful the houses depicted 
on the map, in the following pages will be given a brief analysis of the 
successive stages of development, listing examples belonging to the various 
building types within each period. 


The earliest houses of log have not survived, not so much because of 
their antiquity as because of their construction of perishable, unseasoned 
timbers, immediate use being made of trees felled for the clearing, the 
branches stripped off and the logs notched at the ends for corner joints. 

The reconstructed fort at Harrodsburg gives a good idea of the first 
pioneer structures. Later, care was taken to allow logs to age properly, 
and they were squared for a more workmanlike job. Log houses consisted 
of a single or multiple rooms, and some were of two or more stories. 
Typically southern are the "dog-trot" and "saddle-bag" schemes, the 
former with a breezeway between the two (or more) rooms, and the 
second having a stone chimney between the rooms that were some feet 
apart, with roofed-over storage spaces flanking the chimney. One notes 
that the greatest number are to be found around the perimeter of the 
county, away from the population center, where the intense desire of 
keeping up with the times permitted few to remain for long, 

Known log houses in the southeast section of the county include the 
JONES house (near river), two on the Cleveland place (Richmond Pike), 
BIRD HILL (in a ruined state), EVANS, CARR (Tates Creek Pike), and 
the cabin back of the HUNTER house; the saddle-bag cabin on the BERRY 
place (Armstrong Mill Road — see plan), WATTS (above Athens), and 
the GESS house (3 mi. NW). Continuing north of the east end of the 
Winchester Pike, log construction constitutes the front part of the 
ALBERTI PLACE and the rear wing of the nearby DARNABY house, 
the easternmost DARNABY house (originally an unusual two-storied, 
dog-trot type) on the Chilesburg (now Royster) Road (see plans of 
last and of the ALBERTI PLACE), the WEBB house (present-day 
Ware Road), and the HENDERSON, BEATTY, FRY CABIN and 
eastern HARP houses on or near the Paris Pike. There are several 
scattered around the apex of the county, including the WILSON house 
(now mostly in ruins) above CORINTHIA, the nearby NUTTER house, 
the CARRICK house beyond (on present Lemon's Mill Road), and a 
two-room specimen a half-mile east of PLEASANT RETREAT on the 
Iron Works Road. In the western reaches of the county is the BATES 
house (Spurr Road), the O'NEAL on the Leestown Pike, and the group 
of similar houses including the PEARSON, STONE, MULDROW and 
WORLEY near South Elkhorn Creek. The two-storied cabin on the 
WOOLFOLK place (see plan) and the CLEMENS house farther up the 
stream, the McLEAR on the Nicholasville Pike (at Downing & Wilson's 
Road), two on Stone's Road, and the Rev. Adam RANKIN house 
(1784— see plan) on High Street in Lexington conclude the list. Most 
of these are clapboarded over by way of protection from the weather. 


There are a few surviving frame houses from the early period, 
some of which undoubtedly have log cores and some are brick filled. 
Beginning again in the lower right corner of the map, the houses of 

wood are LOCUSTON, the east end of the DEVORE house, the BERRY 
house (Armstrong Mill Road), the McCONATHY house (Tates Creek Pike 
— original kitchen a two-story, separate building), and the two centermost 
houses in the main row at Athens. Below the Frankfort Pike is ELK 
VIEW, which also is of wood, as is the south portion of the MOORE 
house near Bethel in the west section of the county. The SIDENER and 
COONS houses to the left of the upper extremity of the Cleveland Pike, 
the back wing of CEDAR GROVE farther down on the right side, and 
parts of the big McCANN house on Todd's Road are other frame 


The alternative, non-processed early local building material to logs 
was stone. Stone houses range from crudely built structures of flat 
surface rock to neatly constructed houses of ashlar. They are not 
numerous. The group consists of the McCONNELL house (ca. 1780 — out- 
side Lexington on the Frankfort pike), the BOGGS (mid 1780's, Athens- 
Walnut Hill Road), GRIMES (1813— squared blocks, "Flemish Bond") 
and part of the DEVORE house in the southeast part of Fayette County; 
the Frederick SHRYOCK house (1804— off Haley Pike, near Avon— see 
plan), the RUSSELL house (guest house on Poplar Hill Farm) on the 
Cynthiana (Russell Cave) Pike, STONELEIGH on the Greendale Pike 
and its twin at the old curve in the Versailles Pike beyond the South 
Elkhorn, PISCATORIAL RETREAT (below Leestown Pike and county 
line), and part of the PATTERSON house in Lexington. Most of the 
stone houses are near the larger streams. 


The earliest houses of brick in the Bluegrass are of simple cubic 
forms, their plainness relieved by cornice and other moldings of wood, 
often carved and always painted a light color by way of contrast to the 
dark red walls. The brick was laid in one of two patterns, the "best" 
walls in Flemish bond, of alternating "headers" and "stretchers," that is, 
the exposed ends or sides of the bricks. Walls that were not built so 
much for show were put up in common bond of several rows of stretchers 
to one of headers. Rooflines were simple, usually gabled with garret 
window at the ends; dormers were rare. Many two-storied dwellings 
have a projecting stringer or belt course at the level of the upper floor, 
such as ELLERSLIE on the Richmond Pike, the front half dating from 
the 1780's, the rear added about five years later (demolished 1948 — see 
plan). Other belted houses are the original block of the neighboring 
CHRISTIAN PLACE (see plan) and the GIBSON and McMAHAN 
houses, the house at the bend of the Walnut Hill Pike, SPRING VALLEY, 

BAXTER (2nd floor removed) and PRATHER houses on the Jack's 
Creek Road and its extension, SHADY GROVE, MARTIN, BERRY and 
RETREAT (1792— razed 1955) on the Tates Creek Pike, the HART 
place on the Armstrong Mill Road, the GIST house on the Clay's (Mill) 
Road southwest of Lexington, the WELLS house near South Elkhorn, 
HAZEL DELL on the Harrodsburg Pike, the HALL house, ROSE 
HILL and STONY POINT (see plan) on the Parker's Mill Road, 
VALLEY RETREAT (altered) and LOCUST HILL near the west 
county line, part of the MOORE house near Bethel, the COOPER house 
(at Spindletop Farm) on the Iron Works Road, and the JOHNSON 
house on the Cynthiana Pike. Although typically an eighteenth-century 
feature, the belt course continued in use here at least as late as 1815. 

The most engaging residence of which a part predates 1800 is 
HURRICANE HALL, on the upper stretch of the Georgetown Pike, also 
one of the best preserved of its period (see plot and floor plans). Another 
contemporary house, small but important historically because of its 
owner, is FAIRFIELD on the Iron Works Road, the home of John 
Bradford, editor of the Kentucky Gazette, which began publication in 
1787. Both houses have interesting paneling, and HURRICANE HALL 
French wallpaper in the parlor hung in 1816. 

There are a number of houses built during the opening years of 
the nineteenth century that show little or no stylistic advance over those 
dating from the late 1700's. The most picturesque is STEEL'S RUN 
overlooking the creek of that name below the Frankfort Pike. Good-sized 
houses without halls include the KEEN PLACE (1805 — Versailles Pike) 
and its sister house, the WOOLFOLK near South Elkhorn, originally 
having stairways between walls (both since altered — see plan of latter), 
and LOCUST GROVE above the Leestown Pike with the staircase rising 
in the larger of the front rooms. On this house, as at HURRICANE 
HALL and the RANKIN cabin in Lexington, the porches were supported 
by chamfered posts rather than columns. 

Other early nineteenth-century houses fall into several categories 
characterized by height. Two-storied examples take in FAIR VIEW, the 
WILSON and BUSH houses on the Iron Works Road, the KENNEY 
house, CEDAR GROVE and MORGANSA on the Paris Pike, PINE 
GROVE (considerably altered) and WELCOME HOME in the northern 
section of the county, a number of residences lying between the George- 
town and Frankfort Pikes, CAVE PLACE (1820) off the Harrodsburg 
Pike, the BRYAN, FOLEY and FALCONER houses on South Elkhorn, 

the HEADLEY and HALIGAN on the Tates Creek Pike, the STUART 
house on the Athens Road and parts of the McCANN house on Todd's 

A story-and-a-half type, two-rooms deep downstairs, with four 
chimneys on the end walls, is represented by HARMONY GROVE (one 
of the largest) on the Georgetown Pike, PLEASANT RETREAT on the 
Iron Works, the INNES house (4 mi. NE), the DR. DUDLEY house on 
the northern outskirts of Lexington, WOODSTOCK (1812-20— see plan) 
on Todd's Road, HARMONY HALL, the FIELDS and BULLOCK houses 
south of the Richmond Pike, the CLEVELAND house near the River 
(see plan and plot plan), the CAS SELL house facing the Nicholas ville 
Pike, and FOREST HOME at South Elkhorn, the last— like the WOOL- 
FOLK house — with twin doorways. The DUDLEY house on the Win- 
chester Pike and GLEN ROSE on the Frankfort have chimneys between 
rooms cutting awkwardly through the upstairs volume. 

Single-storied houses one room deep seldom provide more than 
storage space under the roof, though BRYAN'S STATION and HILL- 
DALE (the latter at Huffman Mill and Lemon Mill Roads) contain 
full-scale staircases to the upper chambers. UNION DALE (N tip of 
county) provides a variety of room shapes and sizes despite its small 
dimensions, including two stairways to upper rooms (see plan). Other 
early single-story houses are SUGAR TREE GROVE and WHITE 
HOUSE on the Winchester Pike, the SALLIE house on Bryan's (Bryant) 
Road, MOUNTROSE on the Richmond Pike, the house on East Hickman 
Creek near the end of the Armstrong Mill Road, VAUCLUSE (the Rev. 
James Moore house) off the Georgetown Pike, and a house — later en- 
larged — outside of Lexington on the Versailles Pike. 

During the first and especially the second decades of the nineteenth 
century builders in the Bluegrass manifested ingenuity, originality and 
refinement in their work, some of the most beautiful examples yet 
produced here dating from this time. The symmetrical, complex com- 
position came into its own, as at the original ASHLAND, the wings of 
which were completed after plans by Benjamin Henry Latrobe in 1813. 
More typical of the region is a single-storied scheme of several connecting 
pavilions, represented by LEWIS MANOR, three miles northwest of 
Lexington (see plan); and within the city limits: MORTON HOUSE 
(ca. 1810), ROSE HILL (1812— see plan and plot plan, and front 
elevation on cover), the WOOLLEY house on High Street before enlarge- 
ment (then called "Norton Cottage" — see plan), COOLAVIN (ca. 1819) 
on West Sixth Street, and GLENDOWER (1820) or the Wickliffe home, 

all but COOLAVIN with graceful hipped roofs heretofore seldom used. 
The only survivors in town are the two on Mulberry or North Limestone 
Street. The PECK house at Mill and Maxwell Streets and PARADISE 
a mile north of town may be mentioned in this group, both hipped roofed, 
though more compact in plan. Fan and Palladian doors and windows 
appear in these houses for the first time, excepting VAUCLUSE, where 
an earlier recessed porch was enclosed at some undetermined date. 

The decade ending in 1820 may be called the period of interest in using 
unusual geometric shapes, not only in arched openings but in round, 
oval and polygonal rooms as well. ASHLAND contained several octagonal 
interiors and probably an oval stairhall (see plan of house as rebuilt). 
Latrobe's design for the POPE HOUSE in Lexington called for a circular 
rotuna on the upper, or main, floor, fitted into the rounded ends of the 
parlors (see plans). The front mass of PLANCENTIA (1815— George- 

Front elevation of the John Pope House on Grosvenor Avenue 
as designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe (left) and as built (right) 

town Pike) had a domed 25-by-30-foot elliptical hall flanked by a pair 
of octagonal rooms at the ends of a five-part plan (this front portion 
demolished), undoubtedly similar to the corresponding part of WOOD- 
LANDS in the south of Lexington, which survived up to about the 
time of the first World War. 

For excellence of planning no town house can surpass the HUNT- 
MORGAN at Mill and Second Streets, built for John Wesley Hunt in 
1814 (see plan) . Facing Mill, the central reception hall is entered through 
one of the finest fan doorways in America, the arch spanning a void 
upwards of nine feet. The open-newel staircase is in a separate interior 
to the north and the office to the south opens onto Second Street. The 
service wing is off a court screened from the street by a wall and covered 
by an upstairs porch. The windows of th6 drawing room extend to the 

floor, allowing one to step into the garden on the upper side of the 
house. Neighboring MOUNT HOPE, built ca. 1819 and enlarged in 1841, 
is noteworthy for its display of carved woodwork, and the BODLEY 
house (1815) across the park for its elliptical staircase and wroughtiron 
front fence. 


The stress laid upon abstract elements during the 1810's was super- 
ceded in the 1820's by new architectural effects gained through the 
introduction of classic orders. This was a reflection of the Federal style 
current on the East coast, fostered by Thomas Jefferson, Charles Bulfinch, 
Benjamin Henry Latrobe and others, inspired by the buildings of ancient 
Rome, adapted to modern needs. A foretaste of the vogue had come into 
Kentucky in the form of columned doorways, colonnetted mantels and 
small porticoes ( COOLAVIN, CLEVELAND house and LEWIS MANOR ) 
before 1820; but classicism had not characterized an entire domestic 
architectural design prior to that year. It now manifested itself in two 
distinct house types. 

The first was a spreading pedimented form with an arcuated portico. 
WHITE COTTAGE (ca. 1824— demolished 1940), on Main Street op- 
posite Rose, is the most important example, the round piers and pediment 
of the 35-foot recessed portico built of brick, with arched or Palladian 
windows piercing the long facade. The house was elevated upon a high 
basement suggesting Deep-South influence. As in Jefferson's designs the 
stairway was unimportant (see plan) . The DOLAND house on Harriet's 
Mill Road has a small recessed portico and brick pediment supported on 
wooden posts, which design seems to be an interpretation of the arched 
house in town. A few blocks west of WHITE COTTAGE (site of present 
Esplanade) the arcuated portico of Susan BELL'S house spanned the 
entire facade, following a temple scheme. Here the material throughout 
was wood. 

Thomas Jefferson employed the classic orders for monumentality of 
effect, but nowhere in Fayette County is there any evidence of columns 
of colossal proportions embellishing residences antedating the Greek 
Revival period. However, during the twenties and thirties stateliness 
was achieved in architectural design through incorporating pilasters 
embracing two stories with a pediment. The house of Matthew KEN- 
NEDY — architect of the 1816 Transylvania University building in 
present-day Gratz Park and the 1827 Medical Hall a block to the south 
— on Mulberry at Constitution, built probably during the early 1820's, 
organizes the three central bays by means of giant pilasters and a pedi- 
ment, with a blind arch breaking thrbugh the horizontal cornice and 

curving over a central lunette lighting the garret. Before alterations, 
the house most probably was entered through a fan doorway (see frontis- 
piece). Similar houses are GRASSLAND (1823— on Shelby Lane) in 
the southern section of the county, and THE MEADOWS (early 1830's— 
on Loudon Avenue) just east of Lexington. GRASSLAND contains a 
fine winding staircase in the transverse hall, and an interesting screen 
of disappearing doors in the adjoining suite (see plan and plot plan). 

Because it fits in here chronologically, though categorically stands 
alone, mention must be made of the interesting house, WINTON (1823), 
on the Newtown Pike. The rooms of the main part of the house open off 
a hallway of baronial proportions, the massing of the story-and-a-half 
house having three pediments at the front (see plan). A little brick 
cottage was at the back, detached, as were also the kitchen and service 
quarters to the north. The scheme, following that of the earlier log 
structures here, was that of a small settlement, not unlike the arrange- 
ment of BIRD HILL. WINTON was enlarged into a conventional 
two-story house following the Civil War, with living and service functions 
brought under a single roof. 

The Greek Revival style was introduced to this country in the 
Bank of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, designed by Latrobe during the 
spring of 1798. Its appeal in America was overwhelming, attaining a 
popularity far greater than it ever enjoyed in England or on the continent. 
In a sense the Greek Revival was the culmination of the classic movement, 
making use of the simpler Greek archetypes rather than of the more 
florid Roman, which was, by the way, a tendency encouraged by advances 
in technical fields, especially with steam-powered carpentry replacing 
hand tooling. The tendency was toward a bigness that was monumental 
and imposing. With the new sense of massiveness went a greater aware- 
ness of space : doorways now were recessed, interiors made larger, room 
volumes flowing together through great sliding doors or screens of 
columns replacing solid partition walls. Details began to be designed 
by the architect instead of being left to the fancy of the carver, which 
made for greater unity. First evidenced in Kentucky in the State House 
(1827-29) at Frankfort, conceived by Gideon Shryock, the initial appear- 
ance in Fayette County was in Morrison College designed by the same 
architect and constructed between 1830 and 1834. The ponderousness 
of the new style rendered it more fitting for public than for domestic 
buildings, but its grandeur soon won a place for it in residential archi- 
tecture. Here in central Kentucky, as throughout the eastern United 
States, the Greek Revival came nearest to any of becoming the official 
architectural style of the mid nineteenth century. 

The most characteristic type of Greek Revival house in the Bluegrass 
is a pilastered form with a two-storied portico centered on the facade 
and triple windows lighting the rooms to either side of a transverse hall. 
This house may be one or more rooms deep, and has a service ell at the 
back, usually with recessed galleries of two levels on the sides. The front 
coupled columns (stucco over brick) could be any of several styles. The 
first employed the voluted Ionic order, such as SHADYSIDE (1838— 
Paris Pike), WAVELAND (1847— south end of county — see plan and 
plot plan), the McCANN house (Richmond Pike — see plan), and the 
belated example, KIRKLEVINGTON, actually constructed after the close 
of the Civil War though belonging to the ante-bellum tradition. 

For its simplicity and graceful proportions, the Roman Doric was 
favored over the channeled and more stock Greek Doric. The MOORE 
house and BUENNA HILL on the Cynthiana Pike, both probably of the 
late 1840's, represent the type. Another is the house near Bethel having 
the twin, pyramid-roofed dependencies shown in a plot plan. 

By contrast, for elaborateness, the Corinthian was the order selected, 
the complicated forms of acanthus leaves cast in iron and applied to the 
capitals. The houses on which it appears generally are the larger and 
later ones in the group, FAIRLAWN (ca. 1850— Paris Pike), CORIN- 
THIA (1854— opposite BUENNA HILL— see plan), and the PETTIT 
house (ca. 1857) on the Nicholasville Pike. 

Similar in design to the foregoing, only omitting pilasters and sub- 
stituting rectangular brick piers for columns in the porticoes, are four 
houses southeast of Lexington, the SPURR house (Athens vicinity), 
house in the southwest corner of Fayette, the last two very late construc- 
tions. Supports such as these houses had were more economical than 

Versions of fundamentally the same scheme, built of wood rather 
than brick, are SCIENCE HALL on the Hornsback Mill (Briar Hill) 
Road, and the BOWMAN house on the Harrodsburg Pike, which last has 
superimposed porches. SPRINGHURST (demolished) on the same pike 
and LIBERTY HALL near Avon are frame houses of similar lines, 
except for pairs of windows in place of triple windows, in which respect 
they are like the brick houses ELMWOOD in Lexington and DELTA on 
the Armstrong Mill Road. 

On the Winchester Pike are four houses very much alike, brick, of 
two stories, pilastered, with three-part fenestration, a small entrance 

portico, hipped roofed, subordinate wings, and probably dating from 
around 1850. These are the DARNABY and GRAVES houses, LEAF- 

A species of house with an impressive, colossal-order portico embrac- 
ing three bays of a five-bayed facade is to be found in WALNUT HALL 
(1842— above the Iron Works Road) and the McCAULEY house (1851) 
in Lexington, with elongated Greek Doric pillars; THE ELMS (see plans 
of last two) and CEDAR HALL (mid 1850's) , southwest of Lexington, 
and the frame house, CLIFTON, near the junction of the Iron Works and 
Paris Pike, have Ionic columns. The masculine portico added to nearby 
MOUNT BRILLIANT engages the same scheme. THE ELMS burned in 

Two houses having five-bayed facades and a small entrance portico 
with recessed doorway above are CASTLETON (1841— Iron Works Road) 
and the DEDMAN place below South Elkhorn Creek. Other related 
buildings of this period are the BUSH house and MALMAISON HALL 
(Cynthian Pike), MAPLE GROVE (near Avon), FORKLAND (Win- 
chester Pike), the HAYES house (1854— Sulphur Well Road), the HEN- 
DERSON house near Athens, RICHLAND (Richmond Pike), the HUN- 
TER house and AUVERGNE (Tates Creek Pike), and the CLOUD 
place (1857 — Versailles Pike). The double windows at AUVERGNE — 
rather than two single ones — bespeak its late origin. 

A dignified and distinctive variety of Greek Revival house was 
that having a colossal portico spanning the central pavilion and with 
symmetrically disposed lower wings to either side. The most charming 
example in the county is LEMON HILL (ca. 1840) on the Cleveland 
Pike, a drawing room occupying the front half of the main block (see 
plan). The GIBSON HOUSE in Lexington was similar, as remodeled 
by Lewinski prior to the heightening of the wings (see plan), which 
also occurred at the WEIR house (now called "White Hall") as remodeled 
around 1910. Here a stairhall is to one side of the three-bayed central 
pavilion. The same scheme determined the COCHRAN house on High 
Street (demolished). 

Eastward from the last, the PECK house, and its twin on Broadway, 
the BELL house, are Greek Revival equivalents of the earlier KENNEDY 
house, with pediment set on pilasters. The later houses have small Ionic 
entrance porticoes, recessed doorways, and hood molds over the windows 
(similar details added to the KENNEDY house about this time, only the 
portico was Corinthian). The BUTLER house (ca. 1846), near the 
BELL house, shows the attractiveness of an asymmetrical massing when 
properly handled (see plan). The lack of strict balance in the LAIRD 

house on the Leestown Pike appears to be the failure to build a matching 
wing, but a glance at the room arrangement reveals no other could have 
been intended (see plan). 

The Greek Revival is thought of generally in terms of its large 
and grand productions, prompting one to overlook the exquisiteness of 
its smaller essays. The Francis K. HUNT house (1843) on Barr Street— 
unfortunately recently demolished — was low and spreading, containing a 
dozen rooms arranged around three sides of a rear court, that was the 
living center, and having dependencies distributed along a walk that 
extended from the side service yard to the back lot (see plan and plot 
plan). A formal, pilastered facade was presented to the street. The 
ROGERS house (ca. 1845) on South Broadway has a tetrastyle Ionic 
portico and a high basement containing the services. One of the most 
delightful of bluegrass houses is MANSFIELD, designed for one of 
Henry Clay's sons and built east of ASHLAND in 1845. The house 
provides four rooms on the main floor (see plan) and two above, the 
kitchen in the basement. The overlay of pilasters and blind windows on 
the end walls is partially concealed by modern additions. 


As the Greek Revival was a culmination of the classic tradition, 
the contemporaneous Gothic Revival was a romantic reaction. Whereas 
the former stressed simplicity, bold cubic forms, and architecture divorced 
from nature, Gothic Revival leaned more toward decorativeness and 
complex forms, picturesque outlines, and architecture that nestled into 
its setting. The vogue also came from Europe, or rather principally 
from England, where its acclaim was due to national pride and sentiment 
over the indigenous origin of its medieval prototypes, enthusiasm for 
its having Christian rather than pagan associations, and its greater 
suitability for residential adaptation due to drawing upon domestic 
sources. In addition, the romantic movement was considerably augmented 
by government patronage through the early nineteenth-century Church 
Building Acts in England; and the Gothic Revival in our own country 
is thought of principally in terms of ecclesiastical buildings. 

The Gothic Revival was introduced into America through "Sedgeley," 
William Crammond's villa at Philadelphia, designed in 1799 by Latrobe, 
who later conceived a Gothic design for the Baltimore Cathedral that 
was not executed. The romantic style put in an appearance in the Bluegrass 
in the hybrid design of Saint Peter's Catholic Church on North Limestone, 
built by John McMurtry in 1836-37. The builder combined lancet windows, 
fancy cresting and a conic spire with classic orders in this church, just 

as ten years later he amalgamated crenelations with triglyph-like panels 
in the parapet of the BECK house on High Street, and brought together 
gothic vaulted interiors and external Corinthian colonnades in BQTH- 
ERUM (1851). The imaginativeness of the Gothic Revival is here 
illustrated in the play of octagonal room shapes, bay windows (see plan), 
and leaded windows filled with brightly hued stained glass. 

The outstanding example of pure Gothic Revival architecture adopted 
to domestic purposes is LOUDOUN, designed by the New York architect, 
Alexander J. Davis, for Francis K. Hunt in 1849. Situated near Lexing- 
ton below the Paris Pike the building is a long, irregular pile seen to 
best advantage from the front (see plan). McMurtry was the contractor; 
and after this job he became the chief exponent of the "Collegiate Style" 
in Kentucky. John McMurtry borrowed certain details for use on his 
own composition, INGELSIDE, on the Harrodsburg Pike, built for Henry 
Boone Ingels in 1852. Castiron pinnacles resemble similar features on 
Lewinski's Christ Church (1845) in Lexington. The L-shaped plan of 
INGELSIDE shows many advantages over the elongated arrangement 
of LOUDOUN; and it has affinities to the plan of the same architect's 
contemporary Greek Revival house, CQRINTHIA . The box-like, battle- 
mented gatehouse of INGELSIDE is a unique romantic monument of 
its kind in America (it is now an apartment building — see plan). 

The less ostentatious Gothic Revival counterpart to the castellated 
type represented by the Hunt and Ingels houses is the cottage variety 
referred to as the "Pointed Style/' Its name is derived from its employ- 
ment of steeply pitched roofs with acute gables crowned with pinnacles 
and lined with lace-like bargeboards. The representative specimen in 
Lexington is the William R. ELLEY VILLA built by McMurtry during 
the 1850's. Its design is based upon plate XXV in Andrew J. Downing' s 
The Architecture of Country Houses (New York, 1850). The layout is 
cruciform, the front embraced by a deep, traceried porch that extends 
around to the side wings (see plan). The builder constructed similar 
homes in surrounding counties. 

GLEN ROSE on the Frankfort Pike was remodeled in the pointed 
style, and the original part of the RUNYAN house farther out is a vertical- 
board, "carpenter's gothic" construction. 


The other romantic mode of the mid-nineteenth century in the 
Bluegrass was of Mediterranean inspiration, derived from a type of 
villa on the Italian peninsula that had seen little change since the time 
of the Etruscans. It had come into England at the beginning of the 

century in a house known as "Cronkhill," planned by the architect John 
Nash and built near Shrewsbury in 1802. A blocky subdivision of the 

James B. Clay Villa on East Main Street at Forest Avenue 

style was referred to as the Tuscan Revival, represented in Lexington 
by, the James B. CLAY VILLA designed by Lewinski in 1845 (see plan), 
the details of which were Greek Revival, taken from Edward Shaw's 
Civil Architecture of 1836. The characteristic of the Italianate style 
as a whole, however, was its picturesqueness. Also by Lewinski, CANE 
RUN (1853) on the Newtown Pike is an asymmetrical pile more or less 
L-shaped, with a tall square tower fitted into the angle (see plan). The 
arches of umbrage and windows, and low-pitched roofs with wide eaves 
remind one of similar elements of "Cronkhill." The massing of the 
Italianate house is akin to that of the Gothic Revival, whereas decoration 
generally remained classic — Greek Revival during the early period (as we 
have seen in the CLAY VILLA), changing to Renaissance in the mid 

Lewinski's ASHLAND, rebuilt for James B. Clay in 1857, followed the 
disposition of form of the Henry Clay home on the same site, combining 
octagons with various rectangles and an elliptical stairhall (see plan). 
The front doorway and Palladian window above were recasts of the 
original corresponding features, whereas segmented arched windows, 
quoins, paneled chimneys and castiron bits were redesigned according 

to the contemporary vogue. Some of the woodwork of the ASHLAND 
Henry Clay knew, I believe, was incorporated in the cottage Lewinski 
built on the estate (see plot plan). 

Commenced on the eve of the Civil War and completed a couple of 
years after its close, the outstanding Italianate villa in central Kentucky 
is LYNDHURST at High and Rose Streets in Lexington, built for William 
Fleming by John McMurtry, based on a design in Samuel Sloan's The 
Model Architect (Philadelphia, 1852). The Lexington house is consider- 
ably larger than the Sloan scheme. The central feature of LYNDHURST 
is an octagonal rotunda capped by a great belvedere that admits light 
through a well into the core of the building (see plan). The villa was 
finished for R. R. Stone. 

In the foregoing brief survey the reader has been led hither and 
yon from one to another of the existing or previously existing old 
houses of Fayette County in the endeavor of taking them up in inter- 
related and chronologic order. It is hoped that through having some 
former familiarity with the buildings themselves — either by first-hand 
acquaintance or through any of the accounts and pictures of them 
printed in books, periodicals, etc. — assisted by the perspective sketches 
and plans of them on the map, he may have arrived at a more compre- 
hensive understanding of the variety, scope and development of the 
ante-bellum architecture of the bluegrass region. The present publication 
is offered somewhat as an experiment, recording on a single large sheet 
of paper and within the limits of a dozen-and-a-half pages material 
that ordinarily would require volumes of text and numerous plates to 
transmit. A definitive study of the subject is still wanting; but for the 
time being the map and accompanying booklet are issued as a simplified 
guide for further investigation to those already interested in the early 
architecture of the region, and as a means of creating more interest in 
our social heritage among those who have not yet discovered the pleasures 
and enrichment of one's life that can be derived from this source. The 
map will have served its purpose and justified the hundreds of hours 
spent in its preparation if, through calling attention to intrinsic values, 
it saves from ruin just one fine old house, thereby curbing the tide of 
unwarranted destruction to a small degree. It is desirable that its 
effects will go further and reap positive, tangible results in prompting 
widespread, intelligent restoration.